BHUBANESWAR: State-owned GAIL (India) Limited, the country's largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company, plans to pump in an additional Rs 5,000 crore for the construction of pipelines to supply gas and CNG in West Bengal in the next five to six years.
The project, which is being executed as a part of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Pipeline Project, would involve a 555-km-long pipeline passing through eight districts in the state, such as Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, Nadia, Hooghly, Howrah, East Midnapore and North 24-Parganas.
While Gail was entrusted with developing city gas distribution (CGD) networks in six cities, state-owned Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation (GCGSC) was earlier authorised to distribute gas in Kolkata and its surrounding areas. Subsequently, it was decided that the CGD in the eastern metropolis would be developed jointly.
"Due to land acquisition issues, we are planning to put up CNG stations at the retail outlets of oil marketing companies (OMCs). We shall try to open CNG stations this year itself if we get space at the outlets. The same model we have followed in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. We may use road transport till the pipeline connects the place," said Gail (India) Limited's Chief General Manager S Bairagi.
As Gail looks for more buyers as it is poised to start business with city gas distribution, Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEECL) and Essar Oil are upbeat about shale gas reserves in the CBM blocks of West Bengal. Both the companies have expressed an interest in exploring and extracting shale gas, and under a new licensing regime the government has allowed shale exploration from CBM blocks.
"GEECL had already announced investment of $2 billion over the next 10 years in shale gas extraction. Given the opportunity in existing blocks and potential blocks, investment could be as high as Rs 50,000 crore," GEECL MD and CEO Prasant Modi said.
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